The underground storage formations are located deep below the earth’s surface and can normally only be accessed by boreholes. They provide excellent protection from natural disasters, accidents – and even from terrorist attacks – for the stored products.
In the event of such an unlikely occurrence, the subsurface part of the underground storage facility can easily be cut off from the surface facilities by rapidly closing emergency shut-down valves. Moreover, as no oxygen is present, there is practically no danger that the subsurface part of the facility is affected by fire or explosion.
At the planning, construction and operation stages of the surface facilities everything relating to the safety of the underground storage facility is systematically considered. These safety considerations are an inherent part of the work plans which are prepared for approval by the mining authorities. They take into account all the technology that is used; all the systems that are installed for monitoring, warning and firefighting purposes; and the choice and location of emergency shut-down valves, pressure relief systems etc.
They also embrace all damage prevention measures and emergency plans. Any other potential risks are also identified and classified and suitable counter-measures are established to minimize any such risks.